U.N. says Anbar displacement worst in Iraq since 2006-08

Displaced Iraqis seeking refuge gather in a residential area on the outskirts of the city of Ramadi, west of the capital Baghdad, on January 22, 2014 after fleeing the ongoing battles between the Iraqi army and anti-government fighters in the Anbar province. (AFP)

More than 140,000 people have fled deadly clashes between security forces and anti-government fighters in Anbar province in what is Iraq’s worst displacement in years, the U.N. said on Friday.

“This is the largest displacement Iraq has witnessed since the sectarian violence of 2006-2008,” said U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees spokesman Peter Kessler, adding that the figures were compiled by the Iraqi government.

More than 65,000 have fled in just the past week, he said.

“Many civilians are unable to leave conflict-affected areas where food and fuel are now in short supply,” Kessler added.

Thousands of displaced have fled to Baghdad and other nearby provinces, but some have travelled as far as the northern Kurdish region, according to the UNHCR.

“People are reportedly without money for food and lack suitable clothing for the rainy conditions. Children are not in school and sanitary conditions, particularly for women, are inadequate,” Kessler added.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:42 - GMT 06:42